Dawn Phenomenon or coffee? Fasting told me.



For the past few weeks I’ve been doing intermittent fasting on and off – not eating from around 8 PM to lunch the next day. I do it for two or three days then go back to having breakfast. I’ve been doing it just to see if I notice any positive results. I wrote about the benefits of fasting a few posts ago.

As for positive results of intermittent fasting, I will say I’ve lost two pounds, and I realize it’s not a big deal to skip a meal. But in addition to the two pounds I’ve lost, I’ve had a huge “aha.” Even when I fast in the morning, I’ve been watching my blood sugar rise like mad. As much as 40 points.

I always thought my morning cup of coffee raised my blood sugar (even though I know coffee doesn’t do this any other time of day) and that I needed 1 unit to cover the coffee. But, in actuality, it’s not the coffee that’s raising my morning blood sugar, but the strong effects of the Dawn Phenomenon.

The Dawn Phenomenon is the liver spilling glucose into your blood stream in the early morning hours to get you ready for activity. When I was having my coffee and eating breakfast first thing upon rising, I calculated I needed an extra unit for the caffeine from my coffee, but in actuality, that unit was a corrective dose for my liver spilling glucose into my blood stream.

Not eating til noon or 1 PM, I find I have to take 1.5 units of Humalog when I wake up to cover my liver’s sugar-slide, even when I take my 9 AM hour walk. Even when I take my walk to my yoga class and then walk back.

I’ve always said if I used an insulin pump I’d have more elegant control, and for sure, this is one of those areas I could better manage with a pump. But, ah, well…


5 thoughts on “Dawn Phenomenon or coffee? Fasting told me.

  1. I do enjoy reading your words.
    I do not want a pump, I’d like one of those freestyle libre contraptions. But, I digress.
    This post resonates. I eat intermittently lately. I am careful about my insulin to carbs ratio and rarely eat before noon or later. Sometimes I have 9 carbs or maybe more st 1030. I think I’m losing weight, my glucose is fairly good (sometimes it’s not, when I don’t pay attention), but the caffeine is crazy. I was positive it was caffeine that took me high in the mid morning. Lately, I’ve not had anything except water and my thyroid tablets. But, my glucose would rise a lot from 8 am to noon. I can take 2 or 4 units of humalog and it will be level. Now, I know a bit more on why.

  2. Pingback: Day 2 of my 3-day fast. No, you didn’t miss day 1 | Diabetes Stories

  3. I’ve been T1 for 35 years, no complications. Also drink black coffee in the a.m. with NO issues.
    Lately I test when I wake up in the middle of the night for a bathroom trip. BS still good. Then upon waking a few hours later in the morning, it’s been shockingly higher, a new thing for me. I had a vague memory of hearing of Dawn Phen. but hasn’t ever applied to me, so thanks for this post. I guess liver is deciding to “helpfully” dump. Interestingly, I have been cleansing and it definitely includes supporting liver function. So could be either the Dawn Ph. is evidence I need it, or the cleanse is having this (temporary) side effect. Hmm… time will tell. In the meantime, it’s wake up and shoot up.

  4. Pingback: “Diabetic” foods for being stranded on a desert island should you ever be | Diabetes Stories

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